Miller Genuine Draft is excited to once again be bringing the design heat with the Miller Design Lab, a creative collaboration between streetwear fashion guru Jeff Staple and top local talent.
In this edition, we chop it down with Matthew Edwards, a conceptual fashion designer with a strong foundation in footwear, football and sustainable, impactful design. These interests culminate in design that is functional, empowering and striking within a South African context.
Please name all the designers involved in your process.
Matte is just me.
Describe the collaboration process between yourself & Miller
I got the opportunity to pitch a shoe design to Jeff Staple, to be able to work with an international collaborator, and receive great feedback from them. It’s great that Miller could facilitate a design experience like this where young designers from Johannesburg could collaborate with established international designers whom we admire.
“This is a very limited edition drop, customised by hand.”
What excited you most about this brief?
Working with Jeff Staple and having the opportunity to show him my work. The concept of the Miller Design Lab was also really interesting, they push the idea of experimentation and quality, as well as telling the story of our city’s nightlife experience.
Tell us how you approached the customisation component of this brief?
My background is in industrial design so I wanted to create more than just a new look, I wanted to create an experience. So I went with the concept of a shoe that reveals a new colour as you wear it, it’s like the shoe becomes worth more over time, with each shoe being unique to its wearer. I also liked the idea of the wearer being able to customise their own shoe, so I added a tool that allows you to scratch and add to the sneaker yourself. This is a Design Lab and so I wanted to experiment and push the boundaries of what’s possible in a customisation.
Tell us more about the final output, what sort of wearer did you have in mind when creating it?
Someone outgoing who loves partying and enjoys getting their sneakers a little scuffed. Someone not afraid to dance. Someone creative who wants shoes that are unique to them.
How has the local nightlife scene influenced and inspired this brief?
I’m part of a Johannesburg scene that enjoys wearing nice shoes and having a good time. The idea of wearing a nice shoe and not being too precious about it also influenced me a lot. The Johannesburg party scene is full of creatives and I thought it would be cool to give them a shoe that they can edit, scuff, and bring to life.
Briefly describe your final design
This is a very limited edition drop, customised by hand. An all matte-black shoe with a golden underlayer that becomes exposed after some wear and tear, finished with some golden accents that relate to the matte and Miller brand.
SHOP MATTE x MILLER DESIGN LAB COLLECTION ON millerdesignlab.co.za
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